updated 12:20 pm EST, Sat December 18, 2010
Sony Reader near dry worldwide
Sony in a pair of updates today said that its new Reader line was selling well enough that it was facing sellouts worldwide. The two higher end models, the Touch Edition and Daily Edition, are likely to run dry before Christmas. The company wouldn't give numbers but said to CNET it was selling in the "millions" much like Amazon's sales.
Both Sony Japan and its international unit said that, contrary to expectations, the lowest-price Pocket Edition wasn't selling as well and was still in healthy supply. The company explained to Tech-On that Japanese sales may have been helped by selling in three bookstores in Tokyo and Osaka, where expectations were low but demand proved to be much higher.
The results may have been vital to Sony, which has struggled to compete against not only the Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook but the iPad. Both Apple and Sony have small influence in the US so far, and Sony only just returned to Japan after seeing commercial failure years earlier. Sony has typically struggled as its devices are usually more expensive and have fewer features. To date, it has also stayed out of the tablet market and thus been left out of those who want color reading or multi-role devices.